• Wed. May 31st, 2023

“Thoda Jhuk Jaao… “: Ex-PAK Cricketer Advises PCB to Host Asia Cup in Dubai, Focus on Getting India to Pakistan for 2025 Champions Trophy


Apr 17, 2023

With India maintaining its stand of not travelling to Pakistan for any cricket, suspense over the venue for the upcoming Asia Cup continues. There were numerous discussions regarding the same during the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meetings earlier this year but it hasn’t reached a definite outcome yet. There are talks of hosting the entire tournament in Pakistan and scheduling India matches at a neutral venue but no concrete decision has been taken. In a recent media interaction, ACC president and BCCI secretary Jay Shah said they are waiting for feedback from other nations to finalise the venue and get more clarity on the India-Pakistan match.

Amid the confusion, former Pakistan cricketer Danish Kaneria understands the concerns of both India and Pakistan but wants his home country to focus on the larger picture. The former leg-spinner feels everyone – from the team to the travelling media contingent – enjoyed the last time India toured Pakistan for a bilateral series in 2004 but understands that “time has changed, everything has changed”.

“Bhai ye chalta rahega. It all started when the T20 World Cup was underway in Dubai last time. Chairman saahb (PCB Chairman) ne kuch bol diya tha and all. I know one thing that it will be played on earth, humari prithvi pe hoga. (laughs). If you look from Pakistan’s point of view, they are right because international cricket has revived in the country. Every team is coming there and they want India to come too. Even when India came to Pakistan last time for a bilateral series, very good arrangements were made for the team. Many senior journalists also travelled and enjoyed it a lot. I agree that time was different and now the time has changed, everything has changed,” said Kaneria in an exclusive interaction with News18 CricketNext.

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‘No stability in Pakistan’

The 42-year-old, who is in the United States of America at the moment, says talks of Pakistan not travelling to India for the World Cup if they don’t come to Pakistan for the Asia Cup don’t make sense and will have serious repercussions.

“If you see, things are not stable in Pakistan now. Teams are coming and playing cricket but there is no stability. I think talks of Pakistan not travelling to India if they (India) don’t come for the Asia Cup don’t make sense. I think a U-turn on that has already happened and Pakistan will go to India for World Cup. That is not possible. They will be out of ICC if they think about that (not going to India for World Cup),” said Kaneria.

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The leggie, who was part of Pakistan’s squad when India toured in 2004, wants his country to focus on the 2025 Champions Trophy and use the period from now till that tournament to rebuild relations with BCCI and government officials in India.

“Things will only get worse agar garma garmi mai baat karege. ACC president Jay Shah said that travelling and broadcast costs would increase if Asia Cup will be played at two venues. It would be very difficult. That’s also a fair point. Pakistan should host Asia Cup in Dubai, agree to go to India and think about the long term because Pakistan has the 2025 Champions Trophy,” said Kaneria.

‘Do some good PR… ‘

Instead of going back and forth around the Asia Cup venue, Kaneria has urged Pakistan to go and play Asia Cup at a neutral venue, preferably Dubai, and then later travel to India for the ODI World Cup. He wants Pakistan to make relations with India better and more powerful so that when Champions Trophy happens in 2025, India agree to travel.

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“Pakistan should play Asia Cup in Dubai, do some good PR there. Then travel to India for World Cup, do some good PR there, meet Indian government officials and initiate a dialogue. For the 2025 Champions Trophy, Pakistan should say that we will get India to Pakistan and India will come. Make good relations. BCCI is a big board, it generates revenue. You should talk about getting Pakistan players to the IPL. No battle is won with fights. Thoda jhuk jaao, koi farak nahi padta hai. But the idea should be to make relations better and more powerful before the Champions Trophy in Pakistan,” said Kaneria.

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